Space & Innovation

App Connects Android Smartwatch to iPhone

The app may appeal to iPhone owners who'd like a smartwatch but don't want to pay Apple prices.

Google wants some of Apple's action. Today, the search engine giant announced a new app that will allow Android Wear smartwatch owners to connect to an iPhone.

Wait. What? Android watch connects to Apple phone?

Wearable Electronics Take Over (Photos)

Until now, that was heresy. Until now, Android Wear watches worked only with Android phones. But Google's new Android Wear mobile app, available in Apple's App Store today, will give wearers access to the iPhone, that is, the iPhone 5 and newer iPhones running iOS 8.2 and up, according to TechCrunch.

The Android Wear for iOS supports the LG Watch Urbane, the Moto 360, Android Wear watches with version 1.3 software and all future Android watches, including those from Huawei, Asus and Motorola. But that's it.

Once linked to an iPhone, the experience on an Android Wear should be about the same as that with an Android phone. Gestures still work and users can wave their way through information like before.

Smartphone Giants Want Your Body

The one thing that's not available is ability to install third-party watch apps from Google Play.

But for iPhone owners who'd like a smartwatch but don't want to pay Apple prices, this could be the way to go. Android Wears start at $149.99, which is less than half the price of an Apple Watch Sport.

via TechCrunch and ZDNet

This week, our tech slideshow is all about the Mobile World Congress, the consumer electronics show that takes place in Barcelona each year. Innovative smartphones, wearable computers and Internet-connected cars are among some of the technologies that were on display. Here are some of our favorites.

The Mirama smart glasses, from

Japan-based Brilliant Service

, have a gesture recognition system combined with augmented reality technology. The wearer uses her hands to interact with virtual objects seen in the glasses. Brilliant service wants their smart glasses to one day replace for smartphones.

For its unique aluminum unibody design, the HTC ONE was awarded this year's "Smartphone of the Year."

Walldorf, Germany-based SAP is working with the German national football team to prepare for the World Cup in 2014, and take soccer to the next level. The ball has embedded sensors and electronics that capture and analyze a wealth of data in real time, including spatial analysis of player movements.

Blackphone is the world's first smartphone that places security back into the hands of the user. The $629 phone, which comes unlocked, was developed in a partnership between Silent Circle and Geeksphone. Along with the PrivatOS, built on Android, the phone comes with a suite of Silent Circle apps, including Silent Phone, Silent Text and Silent Contacts; anonymous search, private browsing and VPN from Disconnect. SpiderOak provides a secure cloud file storage and the Blackphone ships with a remote-wipe and device recovery tool.

LG was on hand to promote its new G Flex, which has a 6.0” curved OLED screen, that while not flexible, does have a shape that fits well into the palm of a hand. The big screen provides an impressive panoramic view, while minimizing glare.

Samsung's Galaxy Fit was among many wearable fitness devices on display at the Mobile World Congress. The Fit has a thin, curved shape meant to follow the wrist; the user navigates menus by swiping horizontally. Along with a heart monitor, the Fit is designed to provide notifications for calls, e-mail and text message. A personal fitness coaching app is an option.

One of the most surprising announcements at the Mobile World Congress came from Mozilla, who plans to launch seven new devices using Firefox OS, including a smartphone -- the ZTE Open C -- priced at $25. The devices are being aimed at people in developing countries.

Chinese company Gionee presented its Elife 5.5, the world's thinnest smartphone. At 5.5 millimeters thick, the phone edges out the 5.75mm Vivo X3. For comparison, the iPhone 5s is 7.6mm thick.

The new Xperia Z2 phone and tablet from Sony are waterproof, come with brighter screens and noise-canceling earbuds.

Sony's SmartBand SWR10 is also waterproof, which makes sense if you plan to sweat while wearing them.

Practically speaking, cars are becoming gadgets. Ford was among several automakers displaying their versions of fully connected Internet cars. These cars work in conjunction with a person's smartphone or work like a smartphone to run apps that connect to the Internet, play music and movies, display GPS navigation and control security features at home, among many other features.